A Tulsa woman has watched the California dog mauling trial with a great deal of interest, because she too was mauled by a dog. And although she lived, her life has been forever changed.
76-year-old Wanda Cox has never talked about her ordeal; but, now that it's four years since the attack, she was ready to share her story only with the News on Six.
Wanda Cox had just returned home from her morning walk in October of 1998 when a dog knocked her to the ground and mauled her.
Wanda Cox, Dog Bite Victim: "Both legs were eaten down to the bone. With the help of a plastic surgeon, he removed muscle from my stomach and rebuilt my right leg and repaired my left leg."
Doctors at first recommended amputating Cox's leg, but, after 18 hours of surgery, seven weeks in the hospital and six months of home healthcare, she kept her leg. But, four years later, she still struggles.
Wanda Cox: "I do not walk well. I walk with an effort and they're very tender."
The owners of the dog Trek who bit Cox were both convicted of misdemeanor charges of harboring a vicious dog and having a dog run loose. They are still appealing the case.
Trek died of a brain tumor after two years in animal control's custody.
Prosectors say despite the damage to humans, many people insist on protecting their pets.
Pat Boulden, Asst City Attorney: "For many, it's a macho symbol, this is my dog, just like a gun, you're not going to take them away from me. And, that's dangerous in a civilized society."
Cox's case prompted Tulsa city leaders to strengthen the dog bite law - now any dog that causes serious injury or bites someone twice is considered vicious and could be destroyed and owners can be put in jail for six months or pay a $1,200 fine.
Wanda Cox: "I don't want anyone else to go through it, I hope no one else ever does. It causes fear and leaves long-term handicaps."
The next court date for the appeal filed by Trek's owners is April 1st. Tulsa had 357 dog bites reported in the year 2001, and 437 in 2000.